1.         Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Central African Republic) (N 475)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1988

Criteria  (ix)(x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    1997-present

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/475/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2001-2001)
Total amount approved: USD 170,000
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/475/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

May 2001: Interdisciplinary mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/475/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2003

At its 25th session (Helsinki, 2001), the Committee requested the Centre and IUCN to co-operate with the State Party in order to identify potential financial sources to implement urgent rehabilitation measures and long-term conservation actions for the benefit of this site. The Committee also approved the release of US$150,000 for the Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park Emergency Rehabilitation Plan. UNESCO’s Division of Equipment Procurement is in the process of purchasing essential equipment as foreseen in the plan. Funds for field activities were decentralised to UNESCO Office in Yaounde, Cameroon. However, due to the recent political turmoil in CAR all equipment delivery and funds transfers have been suspended.

The State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the site dated 6 March 2003, highlighting a number of important threats. Illegal and poaching, organized from both inside and outside of CAR, remains a major problem. The State Party expressed the need for additional funds to address this issue through the reinforcement of an anti-poaching programme. It emphasized the need to develop a monitoring progrCamme and compile an inventory of key fauna, as well as to improve infrastructure, management and communications in order to develop eco-tourism in the Park, as an alternative source of income for local people. The report states that illegal settlements have been established in the North-Western part of the site by people moving in from Chad, and this is resulting in illegal poaching and clear-felling to open up the area for agriculture. Mining is taking place along the river Manovo and is impacting on the natural flow and water levels of the river. Uncontrolled bushfires, illegal fishing and transhumance are also threats to the natural values of this site. The State Party has noted that villagers from Akoursoulback and Gordil are involved in illegal fishing within the Park, and transhumance is occurring between Sudan and CAR and Chad and CAR. In a meeting at the World Heritage Centre with the Minister responsible for protected areas it was suggested that a high level meeting could be organized with authorities of Chad and Sudan to discuss the issue of cross border poaching. With the current political situation, it is unclear how follow up actions that may be recommended by the proposed high-level meeting between Ministers of the three countries could be ensured.

The site receives some support under the European Union funded ECOFAC programme for Central Africa. A component of this programme, the “Projet de Développement des Zones Cynégétiques villageoises“ is developing mechanisms to regulate hunting in a 80.000 km2 region that includes the park. The activity report of the project for the period January to June 2002 concludes that even if the communal hunting zones can significantly contribute to the conservation of the site, there is an urgent need to strengthen anti-poaching activities in the site. The report notes that patrols need to be better armed to confront commercial poachers coming from neighbouring countries and that patrolling staff need to be trained in paramilitary techniques. ECOFAC also mentions that a limited quantity of arms and ammunition was provided to the Park and that a new anti-poaching strategy has shown some encouraging results since no foreign poachers were reported in the period covered by the report. The new strategy consists of preventing poaching groups coming from Chad and Sudan from entering the region through mixed patrols with the Central African Armed Forces and involving private hunting companies involved in combating poaching. The report also notes that due to the limited number of field staff, this activity has diverted capacities away from the control of poaching by the local populations. It is also mentioned that illegal miners on the Manovo River were forced to leave the Park but confirms reports by the State Party on increased pressure by local fishermen on the Gounda and Goro Rivers.

IUCN:

The new information provided above has been proposed on a consensual basis between IUCN and the Centre.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

N/A

Decision Adopted: 27 COM 7A.1

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Reiterates its serious concern for the state of conservation of this property and the need for increased international support and co-operation, including that between the Central African Republic, Chad and Sudan;

2. Requests that the State Party take all necessary measures to halt mining along the Manovo River in order to minimize negative impacts of mining on the integrity of the Park and confirm in writing the outcome of the measures taken;

3. Recommends that IUCN and the World Heritage Centre, in co-operation with the State Party, urgently undertake a mission to the property to evaluate the status of the outstanding universal value for which it was inscribed on the World Heritage List and the extent to which that value may have been irreversibly compromised by prevailing threats to the property and submit the findings and recommendations of that mission, if possible to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2004 for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 28th session in 2004;

4. Requests the World Heritage Centre and the State Party to adapt the Emergency Rehabilitation plan to the changed situation in the field;

5. Invites the State Party to provide an up-to-date report on the status of implementation of the revised plan by 1 February 2004 for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 28th session in 2004;

6. Decides to retain the Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park in the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 27 COM 8B.2

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Following examination of state of conservation reports of properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-03/27.COM/7A),;

2. Decides to maintain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger: